tirsdag 10. januar 2017

On the arena of speech

When Paul encouraged Timothy to be an example, he identified five arenas where it is important to be a role model. Today I will look at the first one:
“…set an example … in speech…”
1 Tim 4:12 
It shouldn’t be a surprise. Paul had already told Timothy to have nothing to do with myths and old wives’ tales (1), and like James (2), Paul often encouraged the disciples to be careful with their speech. In his letter to the Ephesians, he wrote:
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children … Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
Epf 5:1 & 4
It has happened that I on the arena of speech has uttered things that are out of place, but even though it did amuse the listeners, it made me unhappy. God is the Creator of laughter, and I love to laugh. Fortunately, there is an abundance of humour that makes me laugh which is not out of place.

However, the arena of speech is not only about what kind of talk I should avoid, but just as much about words that build us up:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Col 4:5  
It is amazing how much words of grace build up. That is exactly what my role models do. They build up others. It is part of a disciple’s calling to “encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (3).

‘Manna’ for today:
Role models build up others
(1) See «Godless myths»
(2) See James 3
(3) 1 Thess 5:11

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